FC Copenhagen vs Aab
The Danish Superliga is back in action and Copenhagen made it a perfect re-start with a commanding 3-0 win away at Silkeborg.
That moved the capital club to within 2 points of 2nd placed Viborg. They’re 9 behind leaders Nordsjaelland with a game in hand. Clawing that bacl sin’t impossible though especially after the leaders lost star player Andreas Schjelderup to Benfica.
Copenhagen’s win last week made it 4 on the spin in the league and after the impressive loan signing of Jordan Larsson, they’re even better set than they were before the break.
Aab are 2nd bottom, 18 points behind Copenhagen. They returned to action with a 1-0 defeat to Aarhus. That made it 5 losses in a row in the league.
The break didn’t do much for confidence either, with Aab only winning 1 of their 6 friendlies and that was away at Norwegian 2nd tier side Sogndal.
Copenhagen are particularly strong at home and Aab struggle on the road. The hosts should have a comfortable afternoon and continue a positive trend against this opponent, having won the last 4 meetings.
Besiktas vs Antalyaspor
Over to Turkey for the 2nd part of the treble. Besiktas need to get back on the trail for positive results as they sit 1 point outside the European places.
No better place to do it than the Vodafone Park where the Eagles have lost just once all season, winning 7/10 matches and their last 4 on the spin; scoring 11 times in the process.
Antalyaspor are woeful on the road, only Alanyaspor have taken fewer points (6) than the 7 that today’s visitors have managed. They’ve scored a measly 8 goals on their travels and conceded 15.
They’re without numerous first team players and crucially, their key attacking threats – Sam Larsson is suspended, Shoya Nakajima is struggling with an injury and it looks unlikely that top scorer Hadji Wright will return for this one.
Besiktas have a clean bill of health with only the suspension of Arthur Masuaku for concern.
A depleted visiting side who struggle away from their home comforts against a side flying at home and in need of a big 3 points, I can only see this going one way.
Almeria vs Barcelona
Barca return to league action following their disappointing defeat to Man United in the Europa League. That was Xavi’s first taste of defeat in 18 outings with his dominant Barcelona side.
It’s all focus back on La Liga now where they’ve been utterly dominant this season. They’ve won a staggering 19 of their 22 matches.
What is terrifying is their defensive record. They’ve conceded just 7 goals all season.
Almeria are only above the drop zone now on goal difference after a real rough run of form which has particularly exposed their defensive frailties.
They lost 6-2 to Girona last time out, that followed 3-2 and 2-0 defeats as the side scramble to get points and give themselves some breathing room from relegation in such a tight league.
Barca will no doubt rotate a few bodies as they look to freshen things up following their European exertions but even with some changes; they’re far clear in quality from their opponents.
Barca’s ability to keep things so tight allows their quality to shine through. That brilliance in attack can produce just just one golden opportunity and thanks to the strength of their rearguard, it’s all they need to secure the 3 points.